Where Politicians (And Recruiters) Get It Wrong

Who likes politicians? Answer - nobody. Ok, maybe you have a favorite, and there are certainly some who really like specific candidates. It’s safe to say as a group, politicians are generally despised and, at best, tolerated – with a few good ones sprinkled in. (Depending on your view, of course)


The disdain we feel for these public servants comes to the forefront in an election year. You can’t turn on the TV without seeing someone bashing someone else. Politicians run on a never ending platform of “I’m better than that guy”. It seems that most political ads focus more on what that candidate’s competitor has done / not done, as opposed to why we should vote for the candidate running it! My two oldest children will be old enough to vote in this year’s presidential election, and watching it through their brand new voter’s eyes is even more depressing.


Here’s a sad truth – some recruiters don’t market all that differently. Go ahead; look at some agencies’ websites. It’s all “our core principles distinguish us from our competition” (how?) or “we have distinguished ourselves as a personable and professional firm” (compared to what exactly?). Here’s one of my favorites – “we are not just another ‘temp agency’ ” (what's wrong with temp agencies?). How many times have you heard “I’m not just another politician” from a candidate? The underlying message is that being a politician (or temp agency, in this case) is somehow bad - therefore I'm not like the other ones.


Clearly there is no magic marketing bullet. Or if there is, no one has shared it with me. What I do know is that I’m sick to death of all the negativity in our political process AND in our profession. I work with a handful of agencies because I genuinely like the people that run them in addition to the great service & candidates they provide. They’re not that different from their competition.


You want my vote? Talk about things that matter to me. Tell me how you’re going to solve my problem. If you start talking too much about the other guy, all that’s going to do is cause me to take a second look at him. Maybe he’ll have something of substance to say instead of just tearing someone else down.

Views: 623

Comment by Cora Mae Lengeman on March 13, 2012 at 4:10pm


Comment by Amy Ala Miller on March 13, 2012 at 4:40pm

Thanks Cora. :) I've been getting a lot of recruiting cold calls lately and I always google the firm before I call back. These quotes are pulled directly from some of them. Sad...

Comment by Tyra Nelson on March 13, 2012 at 5:46pm

Loved it!

Comment by Bill Schultz on March 14, 2012 at 1:38am

Amy, your blogs are far better than the average blogger.  

Comment by Brian D on March 14, 2012 at 9:16am

Great blog as usual Amy.

Keep up the good work!

Comment by Suresh on March 14, 2012 at 10:26am

Amy, good one.

Its funny, we have very benign words for curruption in this country - fundraising, lobbying etc.

Not to mention, tons of Conflicts of Interest among politicians and maybe even recruiters.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 14, 2012 at 10:26am
What is funny to me is that people used to be smart enough not to ever mention a competitor or acknowledge that there was one. After all, it's possible nobody ever heard of them or thought there was one until you mentioned their name or that you had any competition.

People buy from people they like, respect and can depend on so it seems to me that if one is likeable, respectful and dependable one doesn't need to try and be "different". Nobody gives a roaring rat's rear about your "core values" or whether you stand on your head and pound sand in every orifice or how cool you think you are.

My take is quit trying to put big words on what you do, just go be likeable and do your job.
Comment by Kyle Schafroth on March 14, 2012 at 10:35am

A definite like and 'cheers to you' (as always) Amy.

This makes me think back to international business college courses on the eastern part of the world. Comparative advertising is near taboo in many east-asian countries for the simple fact that it's shameful to think you have to break down your competitor to seem of value to the consumer.

The focus (as you pointed out Amy and others did as well) should be the benefits & solutions you provide not the things you think your competitor is rubbish at.

Comment by Martin H.Snyder on March 14, 2012 at 10:39am

Amy its a nice dream, and props for being a positive person and seller, but the world is full of negative ads because they work.  Human nature is such that a few drops of negative spoil a whole barrel of positive, while a few drops of positive do not change the flavor of a barrel of negative.  

Our minds are deeply wired this way because the universe is a cold and dangerous place most of the time.

Winners have to switch modes to match situations, and try to drive situations where positive things can happen, and the basis of those situations are comfort and safety.   If you want positivity, think about comfort and safety first.



Comment by Sean O'Donoghue on March 14, 2012 at 11:19am

Well done Amy... what a great post, and always welcoming to hear the voice of reason from the "other side" of the fence! 

I've not been on here for a while, but I'm getting the writing bug again... so watch out for more from me soon. Keep up the great posts Amy, much appreciated! 

And great responses from everyone else too. Thanks guys! 


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